Pocket, Hunting Knife Sharpening | Portable Sharpeners
Considering the quality of today’s steel, the knife or camp axe that’s been stored in the backpack over the winter probably has an edge as sharp as when you stowed it away. In the back country where it’s actually used, the lifetime of that edge can often be measured in hours. There’s dirt and grit to deal with in the wider world, where a mistake or a bad swing can instantly wreck a blade you spent hours refining.
Until recently, fixing that edge in camp meant an evening by the campfire working the blade over a whetstone that was too small and too heavy all at the same time. The words “white Arkansas novaculite” sound pretty, but if you have to carry a full sized Quachita stone in your pack it’s just a heavy rock. A Quachita stone puts a great edge on a knife, but a slip small enough to take along comfortably wouldn’t handle anything bigger than a pen knife.
Today we do have better options. Diamond stones cut well enough to actually shape heavy steel, not just polish it. For the workbench, where carborundum and novaculite once ruled, there’s competition from modern ceramics as well as diamond matrix benchstones. In camp or on the trail, small diamond slips weighing only ounces actually can maintain a blade. The only complaint is that diamond matrix is a little rough until it wears down, so you may want that Quachita slip for the final touch.
Some of Our Favorite Sharpening Devices
For major work at home — setting the bevel and grinding back nicks — you’ll need something as good as the DMT Coarse Diamond Whetstone.
The three ounce, four inch long DMT Fine Diamond Whetstone includes a leather sheath and will handle anything short of major disaster.
Gerber’s Diamond Pocket Knife Sharpener hones belt knives too — and includes an abrasive groove for sharpening fish hooks.
Kitchen Knife Sharpening
For kitchen knives, check out our kitchen knife sharpening reviews and our complete guide to sharpening kitchen knives
See All of Our Pocket Knife & Hunting Knife Sharpener Reviews Below
Rapala Fishing Blade V Sharpener, Manual Single Stage
Rapala's Soft Grip Fillet series knives feature flexible blades of high carbon European stainless steel and come with a handy pocket sharpening system. If you want a really good edge, you'll still need a whetstone.
These rat-tail tang knives come in several lengths, from this 4" blade version to ...
Planer Edge Wet Wheel Grinder Waterstone
Makita designed the 9820-2 Horizontal Wheel Sharpener to restore the edges of planer blades to perfect condition. The same wet grinding system that sharpens planer blades perfectly true and razor sharp -- without danger of overheating -- will do the same great job on your best knives, wood plane blades, and ...
Tri Hone 6 Inch with Wooden Stand G8T001
The Natural Whetstone Company of Royal, Arkansas, produces this set of three good 6-inch by 1-5/8-inch whetstones mounted in a simple but practical wooden stand. Arkansas novaculite quarried from volcanic rock in the Quachita Mountains provides two of the stones on the triangular rotating base, but the third and ...
Stores Firesteel, LED Flashlight, Diamond Sharpener
Tool Logic's SLP2 Multifunction Folding Knife makes the multi-tool approach to survival knives actually work. Similar in appearance to the Swedish Light-My-Fire knife, this version from Tool Logic offers much more than a magnesium firestarter and a cheap knife.
The SLP2's three-inch blade of 420J2 high carbon ...
Ceramic Hollow Grind
McGowan's Firestone Electric Sharpener quickly hones kitchen and sporting knives to a short functional hollow ground edge. The Firestone works well on utility grade knives commonly used for kitchen prep, but save your finest blades for the whetstone. The angle this machine sets works efficiently but doesn't match up to ...
Fine Grit Whetstone W4F 4 Inch
DMT's W4F Diamond Pocket Whetstone has the fine grit matrix you most often need when touching up a blade edge at work or far from home. This 4 by 7/8 by 3/16-inch sharpening stone weighs only a little more than three ounces, including the neat stitched leather sheath. Ultralight travelers ...
Coarse Grit 6 Inch W6CP
DMT's Coarse Grit Diamond Whetstone quickly restores accurate bevels to badly worn blades of tools and knives as well as materials no ordinary whetstone will touch. The diamond impregnated plastic body of the stone is faced with a perforated layer of nickel-coated steel embedded with diamond grit. The combination ...
Coarse, Medium and Fine Grit Hones
Where this sharpening system will really come in handy is in reworking badly worn and damaged blades. Using the Lansky system, it's possible to hone knife bevels accurately to one of four angles ranging from 17 degrees to 30 degrees. If you don't have the knack of regrinding with flat ...
Whetstone 302F Fine
This full-sized 2" x 8" ceramic sharpening stone from Spyderco is a fine grit finishing whetstone designed to use without lubricants. The tough plastic storage case has rubberized feet and doubles as a non-slip base for use on tables and countertops.
Capable of putting the final razor polish on any fine steel, whether ...
You'll encounter several different categories of sharpening devices out there, and easily hundreds of actual sharpening systems within each category.
A "V" system is a neat invention -- it uses stones to sharpen your edges, but takes the guess work out of finding the correct sharpening angle. With a waterstone, it's up ...
Hone / Sharpening Steel
Not many people need an all-in-one tool sharpener -- They can get really bulky and annoying if they're not being used all the time.
If this sounds familiar to you, you'll like that Gerber released this diamond sharpener specifically made to hone small objects like fishhooks and blades. It was specifically ...
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